Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Yesterday, I was reminded about this great race we are in. A race that began when Jesus became Lord of my life. I’m reminded that I’m in this race to win. I don’t want second place and I’m not about to lose. I’m running with my eyes fixed on Jesus. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things in life that come along and try to entangle us. Things that get in the way of us running a great race for Jesus. I’m watching someone right now who is struggling with a decision to do something because of those entanglements in life. Maybe you know someone who is in that spot too or maybe you are in that spot. I want to encourage you to “throw off EVERYTHING that would hinder you”. Here is a portion from my second book that I was kind of thinking about yesterday when these race thoughts came to mind.
His Hope for Your Destiny
by Sarah Beth Lindberg
“Heaven is not here, it’s there. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.” ~Elizabeth Elliot
“So–who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy. ~Isaiah 40:25 (MSG)
Have you ever been to a soccer, football, baseball, or hockey game and sat in the bleachers? Do you remember the feeling of cheering for your team? Do you remember when they made a mistake and how you might have wanted to step in and help them? Or maybe when they made a great score and you jumped for joy? Do you remember that moment in time?
I can think back to many of these moments in time, but in each one I was a spectator. I was sitting in the bleachers. I was on the bench. I wasn’t on the field or on the ice playing the game. I didn’t know the impact of scoring or the impact of making a mistake like the players did. Some of you are wondering where I’m going with this analogy, and I can tell you this has been running through my mind a lot lately.
We as Christians have become spectators in the spiritual battle that is going on around us at all times. We have become content to sit and watch everyone else fight the battle at hand but are afraid to get our hands dirty. But when we least expect it, something happens that causes us to jump to our feet into action. We are faced with the realization that we need to respond to the war being fought in front of us. Why is it that we have become reactive instead of proactive? What has happened to make us so nonchalant in our approach with God and His spiritual territory?
You can find the rest of this chapter in the book, which is available online at the right, under the links “books authored by sarah”.
Can you identify with any of the questions that were asked about the spectators at the sports games? It’s a tough world right now and it does seem that there are many people who have stepped to the side lines of the race. Who are the winners? The winners are those who are standing as the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on and awaiting our homecoming. The winners yet to come our those who continue to run with perseverance. Have you chosen to run? Are you looking forward with your eyes set on
Jesus? Do you want to be a part of the greatest race in history? Do you want to cross the finish line? Do you want to be in the victory circle?
Let’s round up together and encourage each other onward! We cannot do it alone, we need each other! Let’s choose to be proactive instead of reactive! When we are proactive we will be ready for the battles that come and even when we can’t see the challenges, we will be able to fight them with the strength that God gives us by being in His Word daily. Reactive Christians are the ones who are taken off guard and often respond hastily to situations that are out of their control. You see, only God has complete control over our lives, our future, and the details we have yet to see. Remember, Hebrews 11:1 says,
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
You may not see the finish line in sight, but God knows when you will finish your race. All He is asking of you is that you live by the faith that was created and perfected through His Son Jesus Christ. Faith is the assurance of things that we hope for, even when we have yet to see them. Let the evidence of God’s faithfulness in your life provide you with the assurance that what He has promised for your life will come through in time. Just get off the bench, get in the field, start playing the game! Get off the sidelines and get in the race! Start running with perseverance that can’t be shaken! Run with your eyes on the goal line of Heaven! Your running with a team, you’ll never be running by yourself!
Dear Father God, Please help me to run in a much stronger way. Keep my eyes set on You. May I not give up when things get tough, but may I become stronger in You! Lord, may I continue to lean on You for my guidance and truly seek to finish my race well with You. I pray for all my brothers and sisters who are running this race with me, please refresh each one. May we run well for You and stop being spectators in the spiritual war going on in our lives! Let us be active for You!
Fixing My Eyes on You and Running Forward,